recipe newsletter

March 1, 2004

Hello Everyone!

You'll find a few new additions in this month's newsletter. First of all Terri Cheney will be a new contributor to this newsletter. She writes a column called Penny Ann Poundwise, and you'll find many helpful ideas to stretch your dollars further. I'm also going to start introducing a few new recipe sites every month. So if you have a recipe site or know of one that should be featured here, please let me know. I have also decided after many requests to reopen the message board. Come on in and introduce yourself. New recipes are added everyday! Message Board

     Mary Ellen        

RECIPES FOR MARCH

APPLE STUFFED PORK

2 whole pork tenderloins (1 pound each)
Salt and pepper
Apple stuffing (recipe follows)
1 cup apple cider
4 slices bacon, halved

Cut each tenderloin in half lengthwise, not quite all the way through; flatten out. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread apple stuffing over one flattened loin; top with second loin and hold closed with toothpicks. Place in shallow baking dish. Pour apple cider over meat and lay bacon strips on top.

Bake at 325 degrees, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours or until well done. Remove toothpicks before serving.

If desired, make gravy from pan drippings.

Makes 8 servings.

Apple Stuffing
1/3 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sage
3/4 cup Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup packaged herb-seasoned stuffing mix

Heat cider with butter and sage; stir in remaining ingredients, mixing well to moisten.

CREAMY SANTA FE CUTLETS

3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 pound pork cutlets, 1/4 inch thick
3 teaspoons oil, divided use
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Combine flour, salt and pepper; dredge pork cutlets in flour mixture.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick skillet. Sauté half the cutlets 1 1/2 minutes per side, or until cooked. Remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and cutlets. Cover to keep warm.

After removing cutlets from skillet, add salsa, frozen corn and water. Simmer 1 minute. Turn off heat, stir in sour cream and cilantro.

Serve with a green salad with sliced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes and baby carrots.

Makes 4 servings.

HOT CHICKEN SALAD CASSEROLE

3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup almonds, slivered
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 can (4 ounces) sliced pimentos, drained
2 cups celery, chopped
1 can (10 ounces) cream of chicken soup
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 can (3 ounces) French-fried onions

Combine chicken, almonds, water chestnuts, pimentos, celery, soup, cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl; mix well. Spoon into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with onions and bake 10 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into squares to serve.

Makes 8 to 12 servings.

CHEESE STUFFED MEATLOAF

1 pound ground beef
1 cup spaghetti sauce, divided use
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided use
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine beef, 1/2 cup sauce, egg and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper.

Line a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with waxed paper. Shape meat into a 12- by 8-inch rectangle on the paper.

Combine 3/4 cup of the cheese with the parsley. Sprinkle the mixture lengthwise down the center of the meat, leaving about 1/2-inch border on each edge. Starting at one of the longer sides, lift the waxed paper to roll the meat jelly-roll style over the filling. Remove the waxed paper. Pinch the meat at ends and seam to seal.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Pour remaining sauce over meat and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until sauce is heated through and cheese has melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

SPANISH RUMP ROAST

3- to 4-pound rump roast
1 bottle (8 ounces) French dressing
3/4 cup water
8 small onions
8 small potatoes
1 cup sliced stuffed green olives
2 tablespoons flour

Brown meat in 1/4 cup dressing in a large Dutch oven. Add remaining dressing and 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer 2 hours and 15 minutes. Add onions, potatoes and olives; simmer 45 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender. Remove meat and vegetables to a serving platter. In a mixing bowl, gradually add 1/4 cup water to flour, stirring until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture to hot liquid in pan; cook, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Simmer 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve sauce with meat and vegetables.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

HONEY MUSTARD PORK CHOPS

2 butterflied pork chops, cut down the hinge and separated to make 4 chops
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 to 2 cups chicken broth (canned is fine)
1 tablespoon European-style mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon (freshly ground) black pepper

Sprinkle pork with salt. Heat butter and vegetable oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, add the pork and turn heat to high. Cook about 3 minutes on each side and remove to plate.

Add chicken broth to skillet and boil vigorously to reduce to 1/2 cup (this will take longer with 2 cups broth, but the resulting sauce will be very flavorful). Add mustard, honey and pepper to pan. Stir to blend and bring to a boil. Return pork to pan along with any pan juices that have accumulated, lower heat to medium and cook 2 minutes or until pork is cooked through.

Makes 4 servings.

COLA ROAST

3 pound beef roast
10 3/4-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
16-ounce bottle Pepsi or other cola (do not use diet cola)

Place meat in slow cooker. Top with mushroom soup and onion soup mix.

Pour in Pepsi. Cover. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.

APPETIZER RECIPES

SAVORY SEAFOOD CHEESECAKE

1/2 cup finely crushed thin wheat crackers
2 Tablespoons butter melted
1 small onion, halved
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 cans (6˝ ounces each) minced clams, shrimp or crabmeat, drained
2 eggs
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon dried dill weed, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a small bowl combine cracker crumbs and butter; set aside. Butter a 1/2-quart dish or oven-proof mixing bowl; line the bottom with a circle of wax paper; butter wax paper; set aside.

In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, finely chop onion. Add cream cheese, clams, eggs, sour cream, Cheddar cheese, dill, salt and hot pepper sauce; process until smooth, about 45 seconds.

Pour into prepared dish; sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Place dish in roasting pan. Transfer to oven; fill roasting pan with boiling water to a depth of 2 inches. Bake until a knife inserted in cheesecake 1 inch from center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Turn off oven; let cheesecake remain in oven for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours or overnight. To unmold, run a metal spatula or long knife along edge of pan; invert onto serving plate; remove wax paper; garnish with lemon slices and dill sprigs, if desired.

Yield: One 6-inch cheesecake

BLUE BELL INN SEAFOOD TARTLETS

Crust for seafood tartlets
Loaf of thin sandwich bread
Melted butter

Roll out each slice of bread with rolling pin until very flat. Trim off crust and cut into 4 squares. Dip in melted Butter. press each square into a mini tart pan and bake at 350 until points start to brown. Fill each with seafood mix sprinkle with paprika. Can be refrigerated or frozen at this point. Bake at 450 for 7-10 minutes.

Filling for Seafood Tartlets
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 ounces baby shrimp, drained and refreshed with a bit of fresh lemon juice.
2 ounces crabmeat, drained and refreshed with a bit of fresh lemon juice.
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 drops Tabasco

Mix together. Put in pre-baked shells and sprinkle with paprika. Garnish with chives (optional)

A POUND OF GROUND

A pound of ground meat can be stretched to cover more than one meal or feed more than four, if you are very frugal. And it's a great way to boost the food budget when the four weeks pay must stretch to cover the fifth week of the month!

Breadcrumbs, dried cooked beans, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, or any number of diced vegetables may stretch that ground meat to cover five or even six servings. We have used all of the above at one time or another to ensure that we had enough burgers for our family. Vegetables such as grated carrots, zucchini, and onion add moisture and nutrients, too.

I think the burgers we extended with kidney beans were the most successful and the kids complained far less than with some of my other experiments. I drained, and then processed until pasty, one can of kidney beans. I mixed these with my pound of ground meat and seasoned as I normally would with garlic, worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. We broiled ours with great success. I've since seen suggestions to use black beans to stretch. I'd follow the above recipe but change the seasonings to garlic and cumin and jalapeno peppers. Topped with Monterey Jack cheese, these would be a real taste treat!

I can also stretch a pound of ground to cover more than one meal if needed. I've done this routinely. The meat is used more as a flavoring for the dish than as a protein source alone.

One quarter pound of ground meat will nicely season a basic spaghetti sauce, chili with beans, and vegetable/meat soup. One half pound will serve the same meals, with minor additions, twice over to a family of 4. One half pound of ground meat will make wonderful tacos, burritos or enchiladas. Simply supplement the meal with rice and beans to round out the proteins.

Chili is one of my favorite budget stretching meals and I invest the time to make a double or triple batch (that's still just one pound of ground). I'll serve chili over rice at the first meal. Yellow rice makes an especially attractive dish of the chili. We might have a tortilla tower (layers of thin cornmeal pancakes and chili and grated cheese) at the next meal. Tamale pie is always welcome and hearty too. It's made of chili and drained whole kernel canned corn topped with cornbread. The presentation is what makes it so special. Top with shredded cheddar and chopped black olives in the last five minutes of cooking. Another successful experiment was a cup of leftover chili, a cup of leftover rice, and a can of whole kernel corn, drained. I topped with a spicy cornbread mixture (I added jalapenos, chopped red peppers and green onions to my regular corn bread recipe) and baked until cornbread was done. Topped with dollops of sour cream, shredded cheese and sliced black olives, my family believed they were getting a company meal, not leftovers again.

Depending on how much spaghetti sauce I have left we can make either a small pan of lasagna (enough for four) or use the sauce on pizza dough as our tomato sauce. Remember to make our spaghetti sauce we used only one quarter to one half pound of meat!

One pound of meat is enough to make meatloaf. I follow my grandmother's rule of thumb here and add bread crumbs or leftover mashed potatoes to the meat, along with minced onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots, and bell peppers. If your children balk at eating the vegetables do as I did and grind them fine in a food processor. You'll have all the delicious flavor and they'll never see one veggie. Add one egg, about 1/4 cup of canned milk (you may delete this if you're using the ground veggies) and beat well. Pour into loaf pan and bake at 375F for about 1 hour. This should serve 4-6 generous servings. I have used ground venison, turkey, pork, beef, or ground cooked ham to make a meatloaf with equal success with all.

Next time your budget is whimpering or you simply want to stretch those grocery dollars a little further, use a pound of ground to increase your menus. Your family won't feel one bit deprived, and you can smile with satisfaction at the meal and the budget.

(C)Terri Cheney

Terri is the owner and creator of Penny Ann Poundwise, a weekly newsletter that promotes frugal and simple living. Subscribe at: PennyAnnPoundwise at Yahoogroups.com (C)2005 PennyAnnPoundwise is soley created, owned and written by Terri Cheney. No portion of the article may be reproduced without permission of the author.

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QUICK AND EASY RECIPES

NO-BAKE TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE

8 ounces dried wagon wheel or medium shell pasta
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup milk
1 container (6 1/2 ounces) light semisoft cheese with cucumber and dill or garlic and herb flavorings
1 can (12 1/4 ounces) solid white tuna packed in water, drained and broken into chunks

Cook pasta in lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain and return to pan.

Add 1/4 cup milk and the cheese. Cook and stir over medium heat until cheese is melted and pasta is coated, adding additional milk as needed to make a creamy consistency. Gently fold in tuna; heat through.

Makes 4 servings.

TACO POPPERS

4 or 5 medium russet potatoes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 package (1 1/4 ounces) taco seasoning mix
3 tablespoons cornmeal

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Pierce potatoes with a fork and place in microwave. Microwave for 6 minutes or until barely tender. Cut potatoes in large cubes and place in a large mixing bowl; toss with vegetable oil. Combine taco seasoning and cornmeal in a large plastic sealable bag. Place potatoes in the bag and shake to coat. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 4 servings.

EASY EVERYDAY LASAGNA

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken strips
1 cup (or however much you want) chopped bell peppers
Vegetable oil (about 1 teaspoon)
3 cups salsa mixed with 1 cup water
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package no-boil lasagna noodles

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brown chicken and peppers in oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Stir in salsa mixture and a couple of handfuls of cheese (saving some for the top). Layer with lasagna noodles in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish, starting and ending with sauce and making sure noodles are completely covered with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

From Kraft Kitchens New Classics

NO-NONSENSE CHICKEN NUGGETS

3 C. cornflakes
1/3 C. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
Pinch of pepper
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into nugget-sized pieces
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil or coat a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Place the cornflakes in a resealable plastic bag and crush to a fine texture using a rolling pin or the bottom of a small saucepan, or place in a food processor and pulse several times until finely crushed. Combine with parmesan cheese, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper in a medium bowl.

To bread the chicken, coat in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in the egg, then coat well in the cornflake mixture.

Arrange the chicken on the prepared baking sheet and cook until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

MEXICAN CHICKEN

6 boneless chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans water
1/2 packet taco seasoning mix
1 c. Cheddar cheese, grated
1 small bag plain tortilla chips

Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown chicken breasts for about 8-10 minutes on each side. Combine soup, water, taco seasoning, and half of the shredded cheese in a large mixing bowl.

Place the browned chicken into a 9-by-13-inch ovenproof baking dish and pour the soup mixture over the chicken. Crumble the chips in their bag, then spread evenly over the chicken and soup mixture. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tortilla chips, and continue to bake until the cheese is melted.

SIMPLE FRUIT SALAD

1 C. miniature marshmallows
1 C. coconut
1 C. mandarin oranges, drained
1 C. crushed pineapple, drained
1 C. sour cream

Toss together ingredients and chill.

FEATURED RECIPE SITES

Are you thinking of or doing the South Beach Diet? I found a terrific new site that helps you all the way along. This well designed site has many recipes and suggestions to keep you on track while you are on the South Beach Diet. Enjoy!

South Beach Diet Website

Tea's Southern Cooking has many passed down family recipes all influenced with that southern touch. You'll find great recipes, how to cook with herbs and even how to season that cast iron skillet. Tea is also a wonderful graphic artist so be sure to stop in say Hi.

Submit Your Favorite Recipe Site

KITCHEN TIPS

If you are not sure if the baking powder is still good place a teaspoon full into hot water. If it fizzes, it's still good. Works for baking soda as well.

When buying measuring spoons, choose one or more of the sets that come attached to a ring or hand on a special holder, including 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon. In a good set, 16 tablespoons or 48 teaspoons should equal 1 cup.

If brown sugar is lumpy, roll out lumps with a rolling pin; then sift. Then spoon the brown sugar into measuring cup, packing it down with back of spoon just enough so it holds when turned out.

RESTAURANT RECIPES

CASTLE RIVER INN ALMOND JOY CHEESECAKE - Wichita, KS

Crust
9 ounces (about 20) Oreo cookies
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter -- melted

Filling
2 pounds cream cheese
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract
4 eggs, room temperature
5-8 Almond Joy candy bars, cut into 1/2

Preheat oven to 350° F. Finely process cookies and place in 9" spring form pan. Add sugar, stir. Add melted butter, stir. Press crust evenly on bottom and halfway up side of pan. Bake at 350° F. for about 10 minutes, until crust is set.

Beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add almond extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in candy bar pieces. Pour filling into crust and bake about 1 hour or until middle is set. Place a pan with 1 inch of water on lower rack in oven during baking. Chill cheesecake completely before removing from pan. To remove from pan, cut around cake with dull knife. Slide very large knife under crust and loosen all around before transferring to serving plate. Cut cheesecake with large knife, dipping the knife in hot water before each cut.

Variation: In the filling, substitute vanilla extract for almond extract, add 1/4 cup heavy cream and use 9 ounces of Oreo cookie pieces instead of candy bars.
 
BAKED FLORENTINE OMELET

8 large eggs, beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 tsp dried basil or 5-6 fresh leaves, chopped
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 10 Oz. package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and very well drained
1 cup coarsely chopped plum tomatoes, seeded
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and Ricotta; beat just until combined. Stir in milk, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Fold in spinach, tomatoes, scallions. Spread evenly in a greased 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Top with mozzarella. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

From: Colby House Bed & Breakfast

MISTER A'S MOUSSE AU CHOCOLATE

6 oz. semisweet cooking chocolate
1/3 cup milk
4 oz. (about 1/2 cup) finely granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 cup heavy cream

Place chocolate in to top of a double boiler. Add the milk and heat slowly until chocolate is melted. The mixture should be fairly thick. Stir in sugar and let the mixture cool.

Beat two eggs whites until stiff and fold into the cooled chocolate mixture. Whip the heavy cream, fold into the mousse, and serve at once. Add more whipped cream if you desire a lighter consistency.

Recipe can be served with seasonal fruits, poached pears, berries and so on. Add a splash of dark rum or Kahlua if desired.

San Diego, California

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